Robocalls are on the rise, and they are more than annoying. More than 47.8 billion robocalls were made in the U.S. in 2018, and 37% of those calls were classified as scams.1 With caller ID spoofing, the bad guys can mask their phone number as that of a well-known business or make it similar to your cellphone number so you think it’s someone you know on the other line. Avoid being the next victim by learning more about robocall scams.
What Exactly Is a Robocall?
Any time you answer the phone and hear a recorded message, it is considered a robocall. Some of these calls are legal, such as those providing you with information like a flight change or reminding you that your recurring prescription needs renewal — but the moment there is a sales pitch, it becomes illegal. Here are some scams to watch out for:
- Fake health insurance plans — You’re asked to share your information to secure an offer for low-price health insurance that in reality doesn’t exist.
- Interest rate reduction — The caller claims you can save thousands of dollars in interest if you act now. However, you may end up paying fees without getting results.
- Travel scams — You are told you won a free trip to a location such as Disney but have to give them your financial information in order to hold your tickets.
- Warranty scams — You receive an automated message about an expiring auto warranty, and you’re urged to renew your warranty or policy by phone.
How to Handle Robocalls
What can you do when robocalls are driving you nuts? Try these tips:
- Hang up. If a human comes on the line, don’t give any financial or personal information unless you can verify it is a legitimate call.
- If you do get a human, ask for a mailing address or a website for further details. If the call is legitimate, they won’t hesitate to give you more information. If it is a scam, they will backtrack or hang up on you.
- Block the number. Many cellphone companies even have spam filters that will stop the calls from getting to you.
- Submit a report to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online or at 1.888.382.1222.
- Put your home and cellphone numbers on the national “Do Not Call” registry at donotcall.gov. If you get a call after registering, chances are good it’s a scam.
Do you have reason to believe you’ve been scammed by a robocall? We can help! Contact your Client Advisor right away if you suspect fraud with your account. You may want to enroll in ID theft protection services to help repair the damage done by a scam.
Top 10 Robocall Scams
1 Source: YouMail Robocall Index.
- Health insurance scams
- Interest rate scams
- Student loan scams
- Easy money scams
- Search listing scams
- Home-related scams
- Travel scams
- Tax scams
- Business-related scams
- Warranty scams